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Oral history interview with Robert Eppley and William Norman

Oral History | Accession Number: 1989.346.14 | RG Number: RG-50.031.0014

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Robert Eppley, born on January 26, 1921 in Youngstown, Ohio, describe being inducted into the US Army in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 21, 1942, with the rank of private; serving in the 95th Infantry while he was in the US; serving in the 89th Infantry Division when he was overseas during World War II; landing in Southampton, England in early January 1945; being assigned to Patton's Third Army, following the Battle of the Bulge; coming under fire on the Rhineland campaign in March and later the Central European Campaign in April; how his division was ordered by their commanding general to visit the Ohrdruf concentration camp on the same day the camp was liberated by American forces; remaining at the camp for only two hours; the conditions of the camp survivors and victims; the mayor of Ohrdruf denying knowledge of the camp; how what he saw there made a permanent impression on his life; how there was not much discussion about the camps with his fellow GIs; his division accepting the surrender of thousands of German prisoners; seeing displaced people along the road; his division running the "cigarette camps," which funneled all unneeded US troops back to the US in order the ship them to Japan to finish the war; returning to the US in October 1945; having difficulty getting a job after he was discharged; getting a job with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a common laborer; becoming the city manager of his hometown; his wife, whom he married five months after entering the army; discussing some of his experiences with his children; and the importance of memorialize the Holocaust.

Interviewee
William Norman
Robert Eppley
Date
1984 March 12  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:43:29
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507446